Mother May I?


Something’s wrong.

Queen B herself, Miranda Priestly. I loved Meryl in this role.

Queen B herself, Miranda Priestly. I loved Meryl in this role.

Something’s terribly amiss here.

With all the progress made on behalf of women’s rights over the past 40 years since Roe v. Wade, and especially in the dawn of the presidential election, it seems lately we’ve taken about 4 steps in the wrong direction.

All the controversy swirling around calling little girls names, changing business practices, and flagrant bouts of elitism from women in corporate America stinks more than a mess of day old collard greens.

Yes, Belle is back and I’m fired up something powerful over here because I’ve been sitting and watching silently, gnashing my teeth to powder over the happenings in the media lately. Women’s rights and images in the media are under attack again and this time it’s not the republi-crats or anti-feminist talking heads taking the cheap shots.

One baby step backwards: Let me tell you something, anybody calling my little girl names will have to answer to me. The Onion calling Quvenzhané Wallis out her name last month during the Oscars was disgusting. She’s a kid. And get this: sometimes kids behave like (well) children. God forbid if she was called a slut then her story may have actually received ongoing national attention. It could have even sparked a movement, The “C” Walk. Who’s with me?

Three giant step backwards: Professionally accomplished women being vilified in the media for business and personal decisions. Marissa Mayer trying to make Yahoo! relevant again since (umm) well since the turn of the century. Canceling telework has made her unpopular among people who don’t even hold Yahoo! working credentials. Ouch. But get this: as CEO she’s responsible for doing whatever it takes to make her publicly traded company successful. Even if she has chosen to make unpopular, polarizing, culture-shifting decisions that could have far reaching implications beyond the confines of the Yahoo! camp. I don’t want to see Marissa fail. I want her to be more conscientious of the decisions she makes. Those rungs on the ladder to her success weren’t placed there by accident. She has this role for a purpose. (Tweet that!)

Stand in Place: I just picked up Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In” – I’ve heard varying opinions about the book from “she takes the movement back 20 years” to “it’s the best thing ever” to “it’s self-serving and pointless” and so I decided to just read it myself to form my own opinion. If you’ve read it, let me know what you think.

Truth is women’s rights benefit everyone and feminism is not a monolithic point of view. It’s hard enough to be an ambitious person, let alone a woman, or woman of color or even a little girl of color.

Remember the childhood game Mother May I? The object of the game was to convince the mother to allow you to take enough strides so that YOU then become the mother and can call the shots. This is what we are facing today (I could be reaching here but what the hell…). But instead of requests, let’s consider them components of a manifesto to further define who we are. I’ll start:

Mother may I:

  • decide what’s best for my body
  • work and receive equal work for equal pay
  • lead major corporations and not lose my soul (or make it impossible for other women who may not have access to the same resources as I do to succeed)in the process
  • be strong and confident in my own skin and not be vilified for it
  • be strong and confident in my own skin and not punish those women who aren’t

What would you add to this list?

8 thoughts on “Mother May I?

  1. Hi Cynt! I’m following Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” movement as well and recently joined the LeanIn community online. You and I…great minds…I tell ya. Luv you. ~mjb

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